Wicklow Items in new Waterways Ireland Archive
Waterways Ireland has created a rich and colourful digital archive telling the story of Irish waterways. Launched in the summer of 2021, Waterways Ireland has digitised a collection of over 15,000 engineering drawings, maps and images inherited from the Office of Public Works, which represents 200 years of Irish waterways history.
The digital archive contains the Engineering Collection, the Delany Photographic Collection, the Ian Bath Collection and the Hayden Collection. Among the maps and charts in the Engineering Collection, we find several Wicklow items including admiralty charts Wicklow to Dublin (1839) and Wicklow Roadstead and Harbour (1881).
The Delaney Photographic Collection was donated by waterways historian Ruth Delany, and contains an extensive collection of imagery. This collection includes an intriguing photograph of the tow ship the Ballymurtagh. We learn from the site that the Ballymurtagh was built in 1860 by Harland & Wolff as a hopper barge for the Wicklow Mining Company. It was later bought by the Grand Canal Company in 1868 and used for towing boats on the Shannon. The Ballymurtagh was scrapped in 1928.
The digital archive will continue to expand as new material is digitised. Discover this amazing resource at https://archive.waterwaysireland.org/ and as Waterways Ireland archivist Nuala Reilly warns, “prepare to go down the rabbit hole”.